- Blair Co. business owner accused of inappropriately touching employees
- Controversial Cambria Co. project underway
- Harris Township community members react to proposed Route 322 expansion
- Argument at Richland Twp. hotel leads police to drug bust
- Elk Co. man arrested on child porn charges
- New funding for Pa. highways to be available in April
- $40K in heroin seized in Altoona bust
- Police arrest two after undercover cop purchases drugs
- The United Way seeks a way to distribute funds
- Police: One dead in Indiana Co. crash
- Maple tour successful, according to organizers
- Man accused of sexually assaulting two girls
- Clearfield Co. Teenager killed in car accident
- Centre Co. residents enjoy warm weather
- Two people killed in Somerset crash
- Man tries to run over woman with car
- Abraham Lincoln to be added to PA museum
- American Red Cross hosts 20th annual Gala
- Woods in your backyard program hosted at Penn State
- Blair Co. community comes together to help those impacted by fire
- Police take woman to hospital after drug overdose
- Nursing home evacuated after strong odor
- Car accident causes four people to be transported to trauma center
- One county considers adding drug counseling to court system
- Man in jail after stealing objects for drug addiction
- Police find drugs, handgun, paraphernalia on 21-year-old
- 14-year-old assaulted in Somerset Walmart
- Altoona PD Hosts 'Virtual' Ride-ALong
- DEP awards $2.5 million grant to Decatur Township
- Wife of man facing child sex abuse charges shocked, confused
- Bellefonte man found guilty for role in snake heist
- Small business leaders talk growth and opportunities
- PennDOT finds 35K tons of road salt; Shipping to counties
- Natural gas pipeline push continues in Centre Co.
- Centre Co. man facing child rape charges now facing drug charge
- Bedford Co. man faces 2,400 charges related to child sexual abuse
- 121 Bedford Co. homes without clean water
- Trooper Wilson T-Shirt order form
- Johnstown man deemed sexually violent predator, sentenced to prison
- Police continue investigation after two men hit, killed on I-80
- State education funding highlighted in Cambria Co. hearing
- Shuster-lead US House committee looking into roadside survey
- Somerset Co. teachers settle gender bias suit
- Johnstown man sentenced for sexually assaulting girl
- Two struck, killed by truck in Clinton Co.
- Pitt-Johnstown Baseball Team Helping Dream Come True
- Church to host yard sale for Hollidaysburg fire victims
- High number of complaints recorded by Pa. officials
- Businesses: Break-ins too similar not to be related
- Centre Co. seeing spike in abuse case reports in recent week
- Man facing more than 1,000 child sex abuse counts will head to trial
- Police investigating bar burglary in Cambria Co.
- Local groups providing fish frys on Fridays until Easter
- Two more arrested in connection with meth lab
- Blair Co. housing assessment not done in 56 years
- New designation added to PA license for veterans
- Police: Woman allegedly steals $2,000 from Hidden Valley Ski Shop
- Cambria Co. fire company could see closed doors
- Kindness board helps pay it forward in Centre Co.
- Residents learn about sinking of Confederate submarine
- Injured trooper shares his road to recovery
- Johnstown area road project to start this month; trees to be removed
- Pa. Attorney General's Sandusky case costs nearing $100K
- Flames destroy house in Bedford Co.
- One injured in train-car crash in Somerset Co.
- The 15th Penn State University president dies
- Penn State plans to upgrade on-campus housing
- Man who shot dog files appeal
- Boy Scouts no longer receiving funding from Walt Disney Company
- Dr. Seuss' birthday celebrated by elementary students
- Crews battle Bedford Co. house fire
- CASA in need of volunteers
- Ukrainian students speak about unrest in homeland
- Is this the end of student created holiday State Patty’s Day?
- Blood drive held to at Centre County elementary school
- Experts warn about potency of new pain pill Zohydro
- Failed burglary attempt caught on camera
- Poll: Majority in Pa. favor legalizing medical marijuana
- High electric bill complaints continue to grow
- Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board modifies pricing regulations
- Penn State student assaulted in sleep
- Police: Teenager caught with more than 100 counterfeit credit cards
- Area DJ Porky Chedwick died
- Barn catches fire early Sunday morning
- Shuster attends commissioning of USS Somerset
- Woman catches herself on fire now staying in burn center
- Domino's delivery driver robbed
- Shoppers hit stores for gear before snowstorm
- Fire crews save home after chimney fire in Clearfield County
- Friends and Famers Co-op host membership celebration
- Man attempts to shoot victim with shotgun
- Man dies after kayaking accident
- Two arrested after drugs sold to undercover officer
- More than 300 people without water in Bedford Co.
- USS Somerset commissioned Saturday
- Man requires surgery after alleged assault
- Man assaulted in Centre Co. night club
- Penn State students hold day of service
- Police: State Patty's Day arrests drop
- Wood pellet demand rises as supplies run low
- 15th annual Chainsaw Rendezvous
- UPMC nurse and nurses union agree on contract
- Students learn dance to raise money for playground
- Centre Co. dispatch center up and running
- 'Heroin: Our Town's Addiction' - A WJAC-TV special
- 7 kilos of raw heroin seized on PA Turnpike
- Neighbors rush to help after woman catches fire
- Two decades later, search continues for missing Centre Co. woman
- Police investigating pharmacy robbery in Bellefonte
- Several displaced after fire tears through Blair Co. block
- Family, Penn State, working together to remember former player
- UPMC Altoona, nurses union reach tentative contract agreement
- Son of man who shot trooper in Jefferson Co. facing drug charges
- Fire crews battle flames at Somerset Co. building
- Navy preparing to commission USS Somerset
- Centre Co. man facing more than 1,000 child sex assault charges
- Penn State students providing alternative activity on 'State Patty’s Day'
- Utility company warns of scammers in Blair County
- Zoning board approves Mine 37 cleanup project
- Thousands generated from lodging tax, distributed to Somerset businesses
- 'Heroin: Our Town's Addiction' - A WJAC-TV special
- New charges filed against Johnstown homicide suspect
- Polls in Blair Co. to have handicap access by November
- Ice jam causes flooding concerns in Clearfield County
- Emergency officials attend annual training
- Local care facility expands its services
- Residents learn how to purchase tax-delinquent properties
- Penn State again paying bars to stay closed on 'State Patty's Day'
- Boalsburg fire company asking community to adopt hydrants
- Jackie Robinson film shown in honor of Black History month
- Officials: Thieves fooled with radios, put public in danger
- Heroin: A story of grief and hope
- Teller accused of stealing $30K from Centre Co. bank
- Police investigating fatal crash in Bedford Co.
- Community and schools coming together to help DuBois fire victims
- State College Schools considering longer elementary school day
- Broken turbine has engineers seeking answers
- Somerset Co. mobile food bank provides meals from a trailer
- State College restaurants treat THON dancers to dinner
- Sinkhole discovered on Penn State campus
- Centre County leaders meet with Lieutenant Governor
- Heart for Homeless gives those in need a place to go during the day
- Cambria Co. man charged in connection with deadly hunting accident
- CamTran reroutes buses because of damaging potholes
- Children find handgun in snow, immediately run to tell mom
- DuBois Country Club dealing with devastating fire
- Man arrested following Bedford Co. standoff
- 2 arrested for delivering heroin in Altoona
- Morning blaze injures 4 firefighters, destroys DuBois Country Club building
- 1 of 2 gas wells sealed in Green Co. after fatal blast
- Firefighter injured battling Elk Co. blaze
- Man accused of assault jumps into river to elude police
- Jay Paterno kicks off lieutenant governor campaign
- Morning blaze at DuBois Country Club
- Children playing in snow find handgun
- Local teams gathered to honor the annual Brad Wess Memorial
- Veterans Memorial Ambulance asks for communities help
- Accident on I-99 shuts down southbound lane
- Fire crews shut down roadway in St. Marys due to structure fire
- Special locks on doors stopped burglars from getting inside of home
- THON weekend wraps, organizers calling a success
- Final total raised for THON revealed
- Southern Cameron County without water until late Monday
- Community honors 69th Iwo Jima anniversary
- Annual Jaffa Sports Show kicked off Friday
- Annual Heart Ball held Saturday
- Second annual Guns and Hoses game
- PSU Football team and volunteer fire company host Make-A-Wish event
- Altercation leads to man getting stabbed in Johnstown bar
- Man sentenced after shooting his own dog
- Police: Two arrested after 3,000 bags of heroin found
- Fatal accident kills 18-year-old from Centre Hall
- Surveillance video released of alleged assaulter on East Beaver Avenue
- Penn State board of trustees could see seven seats eliminated
- Natural gas pumping station to be built in Johnstown
- Center for abused children opens in Centre County
- Variable-rates to blame for high electric bills
- THON weekend kicks off at Penn State
- McCort board intends to sue attorney over unfounded claim
- Nurse accused of stealing credit cards from patients
- Spiking electric bills eyed by Pa. regulators
- Pa. Supreme Court won't revisit gas drilling case
- USS Somerset arrives in Philadelphia for commissioning
- Vehicle cleanup continues following chain-reaction crash in Clearfield Co.
- Two arrested with heroin after Johnstown traffic stop
- THON gets underway today
- Mother of slain 2-year-old speaks out as killer's execution warrant is signed
- Armed police in schools varies by district, but legislation may change that
- Some students go hungry when school is canceled
- WWII Veterans reunited with medals 6 decades later
- Area superintendents dealing with significant amount of snow days
- Jay Paterno announces plans to run for lieutenant governor
- Gov. Corbett signs execution warrant for man who raped, killed girl in 1988
- Deputy coroner killed in Somerset Co. crash
- Icy conditions lead to 50-vehicle pile-up in Clearfield Co.
- Clearfield Hospital treats patients following chain-reaction crash
- Former PSU admins again asking for cases to be dismissed
- Cleanup continues following vehicle pileup in Clearfield County
- Accident shuts down Interstate 80 in Clearfield County
- Snow accumulation causes risks with storm drains
- Local animal group looking to expand
- State looking for owners of unclaimed property
- Two arrested in State College area burglary spree
- Penns Valley AD accused of stealing from athletic funds
- UPMC, nurses union resume contract talks in Altoona
- Furnace fire damages Somerset Co. home
- Sentencing delayed for Elk Co. pastor and wife accused of child endangerment
- Bryce Jordan Center to close for repairs this summer
- Icicles create danger for residents
- Devastating fire keeps former residents optimistic
- Drivers aggravated after long winter with potholes
- THON organizers execute evacuation plan
- Local volunteer fire department, borough buildling hit by burglars
- Penn State names 18th president
- Summer flights to begin between State College and Atlanta
- Gas well fire now out in southwestern Pa.
- Penn State University picks new president
- Correction on story about Elk Co. well site investigation
- Space heater catches basement on fire
- Local program helps keep students off streets
- Victims unable to call police for help after home invasion
- Police: Woman assaulted Sunday morning in laundry room
- Penn State expected to name new president today
- Area parents raising money for handicap accessible playground equipment
- Fire displaces two people from Cambria Co. home
- Hundreds of breast cancer survivors attend pink zone game
- Hundreds of families enjoy Spikefest
- Lacrosse coming to Johnstown area
- Penn State board of trustees expected to announce next university president
- Man goes missing on Valentine's Day
- Townships low on salt due to storm in the south
- Fire in Elk Co. breaks out Sunday morning
- House fire in Cambria Co. tricky to get to after large snowfall
- New PSU president to be named Monday
- Weather in Johnstown caused multi-vehicle accident
- Penn State students compete in engineering contest
- State College Borough digs out after snowfall
- Huntingdon Borough declares snow emergency
- More details on woman who killed Bellefonte man
- Catholic schools merging into one building
- Playing in snow piles not safe for children
- Woman scammed out of almost $2,000 after wanting to buy puppy
- Weather conditions causes 100 car pileup
- Bus carrying 13 students crashes on busy roadway
- Johnstown man charged with violently shaking infant daughter
- Valentine's Day can be depressing for those in and out of love
- Harsh winter taking a toll on plow truck drivers
- Program to help GPS track autistic children
- New law could help parents with autistic children get GPS devices
- Altoona nurses rallying at UPMC headquarters
- Police continue to look for standoff motive
- Injection well fight packs township meeting
- Prominent pastor says he was robbed, injured at knifepoint
- Woman charged with third-degree murder in fatal 2012 crash
- Former Cambria Co. couple honored after 76 years of marriage
- PSU sorority at center of 'racially insensitive' photo shuts down
- Standoff ends in Cambria Co., 1 in custody
- UPMC Altoona nurses not being allowed back to work, despite strike ending
- Crews spend hours battling Centre Co. house fire
- Police on scene of standoff in Cambria Co.
- Somerset Co. man pleads to manslaughter charge in baby's death
- District VI basketball playoff sites announced
- Firefighters battle fire in Philipsburg
- Top leaders awarded Greater Johnstown Cambria County Business Hall of Fame
- Police: Still looking for missing hit-and-run driver who killed one
- Nurses strike ends at UPMC Altoona
- Heroin use is cutting deep into tax dollars
- Bob Costas out of Olympic coverage after reported pink eye
- Ferndale girl continues to battle brain cancer
- Firefighter unknowingly responds to parents' home
- Bishop McCort hires Richland's Fleming to lead school
- Losing weight can lead to cold, hard cash
- Child advocacy center now open in Centre Co.
- Altoona police continue to warn about vehicle break-ins
- 1 injured, 1 missing in western Pa. well fire
- State police taking over Ray Gricar disappearance investigation
- Crews battle house fire in Cambria Co.
- Rep. Sam Smith announces retirement
- AG Kane: Internal review of Sandusky case delayed
Heroin: A story of grief and hope
Updated: Wednesday, February 26 2014, 11:11 PM EST
By: Justin Platek and Marty Radovanic
ROCKWOOD, Pa. -- Lisa Calkins-Wright sits on the couch inside her Rockwood home, a log cabin with intricate woodwork and high ceilings. A loft is situated above the main living space, and a Christmas tree still stands weeks after the holiday passed.
It's a warm home to anybody who doesn't know any better. But the truth is, this place holds pain and memories few can understand.
"I spent three months in a fetal position," Calkins-Wright said, pointing to her bedroom. "Trying to wrap my mind around what happened to me."
Lisa knew that her 18-year-old son, Dak, was battling a heroin addiction. He even admitted it to her over the phone during a frantic call one weekday afternoon.
"He told me he was snorting heroin," she said. "[He said] I didn't go to school. I want to get off this stuff."
And Dak tried. Lisa watched him go through withdrawal, holding him at night as he shook and vomited in bed as the heroin filtered itself out of his system.
"I thought that was it," she said.
Dak returned to school and passed classes he struggled for years to understand, including geometry, and graduated last June.
As far as Lisa was concerned, heroin was gone. But the hopes and dreams she had for her son soon were shattered.
A few weeks after graduation, Lisa found needles hidden in Dak's room.
"At that point, I said that's it, you're out of my house," she said.
Lisa kicked Dak out, allowing him to return home for meals and to shower. He never stayed long. Then one Saturday night, the police came knocking.
"He sat down and said, 'Your son is dead.'"
Those words still choke Lisa. She pauses as she says them, as if she doesn't believe those words are coming out of her own mouth.
But reality sets in. Dak is gone. And Lisa blames herself.
"I didn't fight for his life," she said. "I didn't know how to fight."
Dak died of a powerful combination of heroin and fentanyl. The morphine-like substance was mixed in with the drug, probably without his knowledge.
He died quickly and alone in a car, a mile away from his mother's house.
Lisa plays countless scenarios in her mind.
What if I knew more?
What if I got him professional help?
Why didn't I take the time to learn how deadly heroin is?
Why didn't I know you don't kick heroin? It kicks you.
Despite the heartache and sorrow, Lisa refuses to let her son's life be in vain.
"If my son can die, your son can die! Die! Death!" she screamed in an almost maniacal fashion.
But there's powerful truth behind those words.
No child, man or woman is immune from heroin addiction.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 3 percent of school-aged children will try the drug. Forty-thousand people in Pennsylvania are users and more than half a million more are addicted across the country.
"It's a plague. It's a beast," she said. "I was an uninformed parent who thought it could not, would never happen to me."
Lisa is taking that message to any parent, grandparent or caregiver who will listen.
"Wake up!," she likes to tell them.
Dak is never far from Lisa's heart. She wears his old Seven Springs lanyard around her neck like the most prized-piece of jewelry ever crafted. She keeps his death certificate and toxicology report within close reach.
Two pieces of paper, she'll tell you, no parent wants to possess.
For more information on where to turn for help:
New Visions Chemical Dependency Program 814-534-1627
Cambria County Drug and Alcohol Center 814-536-5388